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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:20 am 
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Personally I think the hard disk is the biggest bottleneck of modern PCs. Where a *good* SSD kills spinning rust is access times, which are practically zero. Random access of files is the strong point. Big files are good on current disks as long as they're not too fragmented. Having a lot of ram does help offset a slow disk though as modern OSes use free ram as a big disk cache.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:05 am 
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There are some interesting bar charts concerning the time taken to boot Vista and the time taken to load Crysis on this bit-tech.net Intel X25-E 32GB SSD review.

The Intel X25-E and X25-M SSDs are about equal and halve the Vista boot time compared to the Samsung SpinPoint F1 but don't show quite so strongly when loading Crysis.

So the question is whether having a couple of SpinPoints as a RAID 0 (or RAID 10) array would achieve similar performance to an SSD? If so then that would be a much more cost effective solution. :?

Bob.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:19 am 
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What...

Bob new pc.

How about you tell me what price you can get it for, and i'll try and see how much our suppliers are taking ;)


Core i7 920, VERY wise choice. Overclocks like a dream.

I'm to tired to read the post so i glanced and saw a few words.


Power consumption. get a good efficient 90% or better 800-1000W PSU Make sure it has multiple rails for the different voltages since if you have lots of load on a single rail its less efficient.

100W idle, in your dreams, using a calculator thing my PC was drawing near (680w) the PSU's MAX wattage (750W) and my overclocked and (heavily) Over-volted CPU was drawing nearly TWICE the amount of wattage!!! over 160W maxed out!



Core i7, 6Gb good tripple channel ram ( 3 x 2Gb) get good cooling, overclock it to about 3.4-3.6Ghz

Dont buy a graphics card! Nvidias new stuff will be out soon! just make do with something "decent" just now. Nvidia 6800GT can be picked up for £40-50 these days, built in MPEG 4 decoding, etc. so it'll do.


As for drives, SSD's are good, but not good enough to justify such a price. i'd make do with standard drives just now, and get SSD's later in the year.

SAS drives (SCSI drives basically) running at 15,000RPM - if you want the ultimate in speed - but you'll need a pci express card (Yes PCI EXPRESS!) for the device board to hook them into - and some of those boards have 1Ghz cpus, just for controlling the hard drives!

Nuts huh

im tired, im rambling, i have college tomorrow, probably some photography work due in and im going to sleep

>_<

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:22 am 
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PS

For multi core tasks, XP still beats vista by a country mile.

multi core tasks include

H.264 editing
Gaming
Photoshop
Lightroom

probably solitare.

Also GTX290 (295? dunno) - is the fastest nvidia GPU, it beats everything else, even ATI's biggest bag boy.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:24 am 
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Hi Daniel,

Thanks for your thoughts. That 100W figure is a dream but only as an idle power consumption when the machine is just sitting there collecting emails. Ideally the Asus mobo AI Nap facility could automatically take the machine down from a modest OC (I agree with your 3.4-3.6Ghz figure) to that sort of power consumption but I doubt it. However Asus also provide TurboV which allows the OC to be controlled from the OS and which can store profiles so it would be possible to have the machine running at normal speed and power consumption (I wonder if it can underclock?) until something heavy duty has to be run?

My own very rough estimate for full load power consumption is 185W for the GTX 285 (source), and about 300W for the motherboard and CPU after the overclock. bit-tech reckons 240W without the overclock so I'm assuming an extra 60W or so for that - would that be enough do you think? So that gets up to 500W. Factor in a margin and I'm still some way short of your measured 680W but I wouldn't be going for a really heavy overclock and the GTX 285 card will be drawing less juice than your own card no doubt. I'd probably be aiming for a minimum PSU rating of 700W to power the machine.

I'd considered SAS (the motherboard has it built in) but my priorities are for quieter lower performance drives (like the Samsung SpinPoint F1) so I'm not convinced it's worth bothering with. Likewise I plan to use the motherboard's SATA controller. My current setup includes an Adaptec SATA controller which manages a RAID 5 array but I'm not convinced the performance gain was worth the expense. And adding such a card to the new machine just increases the idle power consumption. :evil:

Anyway, I'm rambling now so, having done my duty and let the dogs out for a minute or two, it's back to the land of nod for me...

Thanks for the feedback - keep it coming. 8)

Bob.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:23 am 
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Bob Andersson wrote:
.

So the question is whether having a couple of SpinPoints as a RAID 0 (or RAID 10) array would achieve similar performance to an SSD? If so then that would be a much more cost effective solution. :?

Bob.


I wonder if a RAM disk might be a better solution, "zero" latency, higher bandwidth, problem is volatility, but they do have battery backed ones. Alternatively, use the RAM disk for pagefile and scratchpad duty.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:37 am 
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The Tech Report have just reviewed ACard's ANS-9010 Serial ATA RAM disk. Too expensive, can't hold data for more than four hours without external power and the performance advantage is not as great as one might think. On the plus side, it does have a notionally unlimited number of write cycles before device failure, unlike an SSD.

Bob.

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Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:49 pm 
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Bob oh deary me.

you CLEARLY have not sat in a room with some Blades huh?

anything you get will be quiet :lol:

MY pc tends to make quite a racket (10 fans in total inside it) but i usually have music playing so it drowns it out.

The board supports SAS drives...say WHAT!? I need to get me one of those!


Well, really dont worry about how loud hard disks are, they'll be nothing next to the noise of the cpu fan. Same with hte GPU, dont worry about it, you wont notice the difference from it being off to it being full.

CPU, PSU and case fans make the most noise, so geta case that takes 120's and a PSU that uses big fans too. CPU Fan, not sure what one on the new socket yet so cant advise much there.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:34 pm 
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DD_nVidia wrote:
Bob oh deary me.

you CLEARLY have not sat in a room with some Blades huh?

anything you get will be quiet :lol:

I wonder how many network admins go deaf from this :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:59 pm 
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These days there's no excuse not to provide ear protection in noisy environments. In fact in the UK it's almost certainly illegal not to. Daniel, you might be surprised if I were to tell you some of the kit I spent my working life around. Your Blades aren't even in the same playground as far as noise is concerned! :)

Back to the workstation. Noise isn't a huge factor when the machine is working full pelt but when it's just idling along then on purely environmental grounds I want the power consumption to be as low as possible and in those circumstances there's no excuse for noisy fans. My media PC uses an Asus EN9600GT MATRIX/HTDI/512M and I was able to set up a power profile for the card which means its fan doesn't even run when the machine is doing its 2D media playback stuff. Careful attention to the size and speed of the case fans and the CPU fan and a quiet PSU means that the fan noise is about the same as the Samsung SpinPoint HDD. In other words for that task the machine is whisper quiet.

The workstation that's the subject of this thread must be capable of much more so I can't get down to the same low noise levels as my media PC but half the fun is to put together a machine that is barely noticeable until it's asked to go full throttle. :twisted:

Bob.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:36 pm 
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If you set the goal for low noise, you can still do well without cutting back on performance. Accept higher temperatures on the CPU picking a quieter fan type cooler. Overclock it keeping to stock volts only as in that case you don't get disproportionate heat generation for the performance. For me gfx performance wasn't high on the list so I just got the fastest passive cooled card I could find.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:58 pm 
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Hi popo,

That's an interesting point about overclocking at stock voltages although, if the Asus TurboV utility works as advertised, I should be able to load different profiles from within the OS as needed. I must do a spot of Googling and see if the profiles can be loaded from the command line. If so then it would be pretty trivial to load and unload OC profiles as needed by the running applications.

The CPU cooler is definitely not going to be the stock Intel one. There are much better and quieter options but I need to pay attention to the airflow over the components surrounding the CPU. No point in choosing the best CPU cooler if the surrounding componentry of that Asus motherboard ends up too hot. :(

It ain't easy. :evil:

Bob.

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Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:03 pm 
http://www.apple.com/macpro/


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:14 pm 
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Mac Pro - Oh please, we're talking about something half decent here ;)

This new socket will be used all the new intel cpus for the next few years. Nahlem anyone ? =D


Ohh, better than some blades eh


Worked with some fancy computers have we Bob :lol:

I never thought anyone on this forum had worked with anything like that haha i do appogise for thinking that :)

And i thought i was cool with the dual blades i got to play around with - but sadly had to give back =( I said they'd be fine under the stairs - no one would hear them, but awch well :(


Don't tell me your trying to save the planet Bob! Your electricity bill...fair enough haha!

Yeah...hmm I'm still skeptical about OS Overclocking and also using motherboard fancy pants features to overclock - i prefer the old fashion...well infact cant even do that XD no FSB! but you get the idea, doing it the manual way.

Although to be fair, if the OS option works, the it would seem like the better solution.


Watercooling? I know some air systems are better but a decent passive cooled radiator might be a good bet, but then again, its another bit outside the case etc.


Get a big honkin case like my thermaltake armor, replace the 120mm fans with ones with speed adjustment switches and set them to low, that way, hardly ANY noise, plus you get a great airflow 12 full bays at the front plus another 3 at the back, supports the extended power supplies water cooling systems etc.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:14 pm 
well, the question was about "working station"... the only such is Mac Pro...


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